AIF Blog - Science

May 16, 2017
Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal speaks with Joanne Kenen, executive editor of health care for Politico. Their conversation was part of the Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series at the Aspen Institute.Elisabeth Rosenthal writes about our broken healthcare system in her new book, An American Sickness: How Healthcare became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back. She says the system, comprised of hospitals, doctors,...
May 11, 2017
 Christina Agapakis is Creative Director at Ginkgo Bioworks, a biological design company growing cultured products for partners across many industries. Agapakis also writes about biology, technology, and culture for numerous outlets. She will speak as part of The Genetics Revolution track at Aspen Ideas. What’s synthetic biology, and how is the company you work for, Ginkgo Bioworks, using it to create consumer...
April 25, 2017
Science Friday host Ira Flatow and Janna Levin, author of Black Hole Blues, on stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Why do human beings explore? And, why are the most adventurous explorers drawn to outer space? Naturalist and astronomer David Aguilar explains why the drive for adventure fades after childhood, and how we can regain it as adults. Also, a group of physicists dig into what the universe is made of. Janna...
April 20, 2017
  Elizabeth Lesser is co-founder of Omega Institute, and the author of three books. She will speak as part of the Caregiving track at Spotlight Health. (Photo: "Nurse Maggie," credit: Elizabeth Lesser) My younger sister Maggie was a renaissance woman—a no-nonsense nurse practitioner in a rural Vermont community, an accomplished artist, a mother and farmer and beekeeper and maple syrup producer. And she also was my...
April 04, 2017
Margot Lee Shetterly, author of "Hidden Figures," signs a book for Michele Norris, director of the Aspen Institute program The Bridge. Shetterly spoke with Norris in February at the University of Minnesota.Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures, says “It’s one thing to tell your own story, it’s another thing to take responsibility to tell someone else’s life.” Her book...
March 28, 2017
Dan Gilbert, psychology professor at Harvard, discusses the future and happiness at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Renowned Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. Vividly bringing to life the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and...
March 14, 2017
Einstein biographer and Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson speaks at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Albert Einstein was no Einstein when he was a kid. He was slow to talk and was even dubbed “the dopey one.” But, Einstein said, slow development gave him time to wonder about things most people don’t spend time on and as a result, his imagination flourished. In this rebroadcast, Aspen Institute...
February 21, 2017
Helen Fisher, chief scientific advisor for Match.com, speaks at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Thanks to technology, we are more connected than ever—digitally. But at what cost? How have technologies, like online dating sites and apps like Tinder, changed attitudes and behaviors? How do we choose a partner and stay interested when we have an almost infinite world of choices at our fingertips? Will marriage become a...
January 24, 2017
How are diet and lifestyle linked to bacterial communities in the gut? How can growing knowledge about gut health be used to develop new therapies? Researchers are learning how the gut microbiome responds to the food we eat, influencing obesity, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and even mental health. Trillions of bacteria inhabit the human gut, working in close and complex symbiosis with our cells....
January 03, 2017
What actually happens to the brain when we meditate? Published studies have documented the many physical and mental health benefits of meditation, including decreased pain, better immune function, less anxiety and depression, a heightened sense of well-being, and greater happiness and emotional self-control. Imaging studies show, with meditation there’s increased activity in brain regions associated with...

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